Whenever looking to purchase a product or a service, people generally seek confirmation that they’ve spent their hard-earned money in the right place. This confirmation often comes in the form of a recommendation, be it from a trusted or reputable source.
That’s precisely one of the main reasons why affiliate marketing has such a huge impact on eCommerce.
Here, we will explore various ways affiliate marketing can help eCommerce businesses grow and expand, but not before we define the term.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing where a product or a service provider relies on the help of an influencer or content creator – also known as affiliates – who promote their offer.
The affiliates commonly target the same audience as the business that hired them. They usually work on fixed commissions from the sales and traffic they’ve managed to secure.
Affiliates usually promote the offer through well-established social media channels, blog posts, or websites. That’s why it’s safe to say that, with the help of affiliate marketing, all businesses can potentially tap into entirely new audience pools that they wouldn’t have otherwise reached.
Because modern technology only continues to evolve, nowadays, it’s easier than ever to track exactly which affiliates are generating the most sales. That way, both businesses and affiliates benefit from keeping their relationship transparent and honest.
How to choose an affiliate?
When looking for the right affiliates, eCommerce businesses need to pay attention to a few key factors that will help them ensure they’ve made the right choice. They need to look for affiliates that:
- Have well-established and well-trafficked social media channels, websites or blogs
- Create lots of trending content
- Have a real influence on their audience
- Create high-value content in the form of blog posts, how-to guides, product reviews, etc.
Affiliates that can boast of these characteristics are far more likely to bring high-quality leads that are already more or less ready to convert. Helping the leads that are generated in this way down the sales funnel is proven to be way easier and far more fruitful.
Knowing all of this, it becomes quite clear that affiliate marketing has a very important role in helping eCommerce businesses grow. Here are just some of the examples.
As we’ve mentioned previously, affiliate marketing will bring more customers your way.
However, to fully understand how much it can help any business, it’s important to mention that affiliate marketing can help you improve sales even if you don’t have a designated sales team.
This is excellent news, particularly for small eCommerce businesses and individual start-ups that can’t yet afford to invest in putting together their own sales team.
Affiliate marketing can help you utilize reputable experts in your niche.
Once your affiliates create and publish their content, they will include a link to your product or service. Then, their audience can easily access the link in order to make a purchase.
This way, both you and the affiliate are benefiting, as your eCommerce business will experience improved sales, while the affiliate will make a commission off of every sale that they have encouraged.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that the traffic that comes from your affiliates is high-quality, meaning that those visitors are already very interested in converting into paying customers.
According to experts from a digital branding agency, anything you can do to improve your SEO is more than worth exploring.
In this day and age, SEO plays a huge role in any online business’ success.
When affiliate marketers publish their content that includes your link, they contribute to your off-page SEO efforts. This boosts your visibility and increases your rankings and relevant backlinks.
Affiliate marketers who understand how SEO works will consciously create a website with relevant, interesting and “clickable” content. This will boost their chances of getting enough hits through search engines which will, in turn, result in more clicks and improved sales.
Diversified conversion channels
With the help of affiliate marketing, you can also easily diversify your conversion channels without investing in building a strong presence on all of them.
Think of it this way – instead of having to create your own YouTube channel, TikTok account and Instagram page, you can look for affiliates that already have a strong presence – and big following – on all of these.
That way, you’ll be able to tap into a whole new audience pool you were previously missing out on.
Simply put, if a YouTuber with a 40k following promotes, showcases or even discusses your product, that’s basically 40k new people learning about your business’ existence.
Better customer insights
Affiliate marketing also comes with a plethora of useful tools. These tools can help you research your audience and better understand them.
With such tools, you can easily see where people click, scroll, how long they remain on a particular page, how willing they are to wait for the loading time, and where they decide to bounce.
Additionally, you can also gain an insight into the type of device they’re using and their overall behavior when exploring your offer.
This will provide you with invaluable feedback you can later use to better your offer and improve various aspects of your eCommerce business – in case there’s a need to do so.
Remember that a happy customer is a returning customer. So, use all of the data you manage to gather to really understand your audience and seriously improve customer satisfaction.
Smarter budgeting and ROI
Moreover, affiliate marketing is arguably one of the most affordable forms of marketing that promise quite a decent return on investment (ROI). Since – as mentioned earlier – affiliates earn their pay through commission, this leaves plenty of room for your eCommerce business to make quite a decent profit.
Additionally, the fact that you can set up different commissions for different affiliate partners also leaves room for better budgeting.
The fact that you don’t have to pay affiliate marketers upfront, but rather they are pretty much in charge of how much they end up earning, sets both of you working towards the same goal – and that’s more quality traffic and improved sales.
Greater control of audience targeting
Every form of online marketing allows for specific audience targeting to a certain extent. Usually, you – or your marketing team – will set the targeting parameters depending on different demographic features.
With affiliate marketing, however, you can choose a specific type of audience to promote your products or services to by selecting particular affiliates.
That way, you’ll be in full control of how, when, and where your eCommerce business is being talked about and the audience it will be presented to.
For eCommerce businesses, this can make a huge positive change in almost every single area of their operations.
Improved brand awareness
Next, it’s important to note that in the world of eCommerce, you’ll have numerous different businesses with offers similar to or the same as yours. That’s why it can sometimes be particularly difficult to make your eCommerce business stand out from the rest.
Luckily, with affiliate marketing, you can improve your brand awareness by carefully and meticulously choosing your affiliates.
On top of that, they can help you attract more customers your way by offering various discount codes, special promotions and similar incentives. That way, your eCommerce website traffic will greatly increase, with a net surplus of shoppers waiting to purchase.
In the end, it’s worth mentioning that affiliate marketing can help you attract more local customers your way.
This is particularly useful if you’re running a small local business that has not yet expanded to the global market. By partnering up with relevant and reputable local affiliates, you will get the chance to present your eCommerce business to your local audience – which will play a significant role in helping your business grow.
Naturally, this will not only bring more local shoppers to your store, but it will also significantly help improve your local SEO efforts, which is certainly another plus.
To sum up
Knowing everything you know now, saying that affiliate marketing can help your eCommerce business would be an understatement.
Considering how much exposure, traffic and high-quality leads affiliate marketing can bring to your business, it becomes quite clear why it’s considered to be arguably the best online digital marketing strategy.
With the help of this controlled and result-driven business model, any business will improve its reach, SEO efforts, exposure, as well as the potential and opportunity to grow further.
Christopher is a Digital Marketing Specialist, Project Manager, and Editor at Find Digital Agency and a passionate blogger. He is a devoted and experienced author who loves to pay attention to quality research and details. Focused on new digital trends and voice distribution across different channels, he starts the day scrolling digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee. In his free time, Christopher plays drums and Magic: the Gathering.
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